Walk For Hunger 2016

What a day! Yesterday my husband and me experienced our first Walk for Hunger part of the NAAP Boston team; a great initiative to help raise awareness about hunger in the state of Massachusetts. Last week, I quickly skimmed through the email invitation and knew that it was something we would be interested in so we decided to join. I was all set and made a batch of Mini Oatmeal Banana Muffins to share. These made the best pre-walk snack. As soon as we arrived we were impressed with the number of people, it was so wonderful to see people of all ages and walks of life unite for a great cause. About one mile into the walk as I was casually talking to a team member I found out that the walk was 10 miles, I panicked for a minute... 10 MILES! Yikes, you see I thought the walk was 5 kilometers not 10 miles... the thought of 10 miles was daunting and worst of all what was I going to tell my husband!? Although I have run longer races perviously, I had not run or walked more than 5 miles consecutively in the last year. I looked around the sight of all the participants was energizing and motivating, this could be fun and best of all my husband was an awesome sport about it all... he may have complained a little but hey who wouldn’t? 10 miles was 10 miles, 3 times the distance he signed up for!

The route was beautiful, along the Charles River, we had a fun time exploring sites we generally passively drive by. Best of all we got to see signs of Spring in the air; flowers blooming, buds bursting and geese swimming by... Very exciting since it was already May and rather cold. My son, who's two, was a good sport, he ate, he slept and had some fun too!!

I was grateful for the Mini Oatmeal Banana Muffins, they definitely came in handy to fuel the long walk. The muffins were a perfect fit since they were well balanced and packed with wholesome ingredients to energize our walk. They were made from: 1. Bananas the perfect pre-workout food as they are full of complex, carbohydrates and minerals such as potassium and fiber. 2. Oatmeal slow releasing carb that provides sustained energy to fuel the workout. 3. Chia seeds packed with omega 3 fats for sustained energy and protein. 4. Pumpkin seeds full of protein and fat providing a boost of energy during a long workout. I had two on our way to the walk and then two at every other mile and it help keep my energy steady. The muffins made the best pre-workout food, however, for next time I will be better prepared with a more appropriate snack option to have during the walk, one that is easily digestible for fast energy such as bananas, raisins and dates. Consuming easily digestible simple carbohydrates during a strenuous workout keeps blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels up, making exercise seem easier and delaying fatigue. These Balls of Energy would be a perfect fit, paired with at least 4 ounces of water every 30 minutes. This recipe provides a much healthier alternative to sports snacks such as GU or gels that are highly processed, if using for high endurance sports it would be a good idea to add some caffeine to the mix for an extra kick. I'll have some ready for next year! As we made it across the finish line, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was very happy to be part of this great event and so proud of my husband for a new record distance, and yes we will be back for more next year and much better prepared for sure!

Finally, it was time to eat and I had the perfect meal in mind, it had the right balance of carbohydrates and protein to nourish our bodies and help our muscles recover plus it only took about 15 minutes to put together. For maximum recovery post workout it’s best to eat within 30 - 60 minutes. My favorite post workout meal is an the Scrambled Egg Fiesta sandwich. The eggs provide high quality protein as well as other nutrients such as zinc, which aids in metabolism and immunity, and vitamin B12, which supports cell production. Combining the eggs with whole grain toast, cheese and fresh veggies round out this meal to restore tired muscles and recharge your energy stores. I included avocados in the mix, did you know that avocados have more potassium then bananas? with far less sugar too! Potassium has a key role in muscle energy so replenishing potassium levels will help avoid muscle cramping and fatigue. I also prepared my fabulous refreshing homemade all natural 'gatorade' to replenish electrolytes, speed up hydration and recovery... water is essential to the body's recovery process as well as getting rid of any lactic acid build up so be sure to drink up! Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory, and have high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain fiber, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and protein so they start the recovery process right away. Did you join the Walk for Hunger? How was your experience? Let's plan to walk together next year, snacks on me!

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